Step Back in Time Weekend — Band Organ Rally

August 23–24, 2014, from 10am–5pm

Hear the happiest music on earth as presented by members of the Carousel Organ Association of America. The Band Organ Rally features the King William Stinson organ from Canada and organs made by Ruth & Sohn, Gavioli, and Wurlitzer from all over the eastern United States. See the complete list.

Enjoy meeting many strolling musicians with their hand-cranked grinder organs. Holding its own is the Mighty, Majestic, Military Band Organ of the Empire State in the Carousel Pavilion. Throughout the day, artisans are eager to talk about the historic buildings, their skills, and 19th-century history.

See some of the instruments, which also participated in the 2012 Carousel Organ Rally.

Organ Restoration

At 3:00–3:30 pm on Saturday, Ben Gottfried reveals the secrets of restoring carousel organs. Hear about his restoration of a Jimmy Verbeeck organ and a Mortier organ, recently exhibited in Honesdale, PA. Ben maintains the band organ of the Empire State Carousel. (Talk given in Main Barn, south end.)

Highlight Activities (print)

  • 10:00 am–noon: Take a Spin on the Empire State Carousel, 50¢ a ride; purchase tokens at Todd’s General Store
  • 10:00-10:50 am: Music in the Cornwallville Church (Sunday only)
  • 10:00-11:00 am: Spinning Yarn, Lippitt Farmhouse
  • 10:30 am: Firing the Brick Oven for Bread Baking, Lippitt Farmhouse (Saturday only)
  • 10:30 am: Medicines from the Garden, Dr. Thrall’s Pharmacy (Sunday only)
  • 11:00 am: Your Turn: Printing on the Liberty Press, Middlefield Printing Office
  • 11:00 am-2:00 pm: Roasting on the Open Hearth, Lippitt Farmhouse (Sunday only)
  • 11:30 am-1:00 pm: Weaving Fabric, Lippitt Farmhouse
  • 12:00 pm: Tour the Empire State Carousel
  • 1:00 pm: Tour the Historic Gardens with Susan Fenimore Cooper. Purchase $2 ticket at main or south entrance of museum. (Saturday only)
  • 1:00–4:45 pm: Take a Spin on the Empire State Carousel, 50¢ a ride; purchase tokens at Todd’s General Store
  • 1:30-4:00 pm: Dramatic Interpretation with the Templeton Players: The Anti-Rent Wars
  • 1:30 pm: Making Medicines, Dr. Thrall’s Pharmacy (Sunday only)
  • 2:00 pm: Flax Fiber to Yarn, Morey Barn
  • 2:30 pm: Rope Making, Morey Barn
  • 3:00-3:30 pm: Organ Restoration: Presentation by Ben Gottfried, Main Barn (Saturday only)
  • 3:00-4:00 pm: Spinning Yarn, Lippitt Farmhouse
  • 4:00-5:00 pm: Music in the Cornwallville Church (Sunday only)
  • 4:00 pm: Your Turn: Printing on the Liberty Press, Middlefield Printing Office 


  • Crossroads Cafe: Fresh homemade soups and chili, cold and hot drinks, fresh baked goods and ice cream (located next to Bump Tavern in the Historic Village)
  • The Farmers' Museum Store: merchandise based on the history and culture of New York State and rural America. Handcrafted items produced by our highly skilled staff and local artisans are featured. A section containing toys, games, books and crafts will please children of all ages! (located in the Herders Cottage)

Admission to all Step Back in Time weekends is included with regular museum admission. Members of the New York State Historical Association enjoy free admission. Join today!

Through Labor Day, active-duty military and up to five family members are admitted free, through the Blue Star Museum program.

All "Step Back in Time" weekends this year are sponsored in part by NBT Bank.